Skim

Skim

Book - 2008
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The time is the early 1990s, the setting a girls' academy in Toronto. Enter "Skim," aka Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth. When her classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. It's a weird time to fall in love, but Skim does just that after secret meetings with her neo-hippie English teacher, Ms. Archer. When Ms. Archer abruptly leaves the school, Skim has to cope with her confusion and isolation, as her best friend, Lisa, tries to pull her into "real" life by setting up a hilarious double date for the school's semi-formal. Skim finds an unexpected ally in Katie. Suicide, depression, love, being gay or not, crushes, cliques of popular, manipulative peers -- the whole gamut of tortured teen life is explored in this masterful graphic novel by cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki.
Publisher: Toronto, ON : Groundwood Books, [2008]
Copyright Date: ©2008
ISBN: 9780888997531
0888997531
Branch Call Number: 741.5971 TAMAK
Characteristics: 141 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 26 cm
Additional Contributors: Tamaki, Mariko

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t
tonyhawked
Jan 17, 2017

Artwork is really nice and atmospheric. Simple spooky trees.

The story easily kept me engaged the whole way through. Very often the setting is in the aftermath of events with little details that creep through (ie Kim's broken arm, the parent's divorce, an unfamiliar student's suicide, etc.) which I found pretty organic storytelling-wise. I never felt as if I had too much information dumped on me, rather, I was left wanting more. This, in the end, turned out to be a con for me; I feel I would've appreciated these perceived 'gaps' more if I had more time with these characters. The story does wrap up satisfactorily, but I felt a bit empty by it, like a spectator who was suddenly shut out. If that makes any sense.

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britprincess1ajax
Jul 30, 2016

I wasn't blown away with the story in SKIM, but it expressed something very genuine about the experience of a teenage girl. It is both unique and universal, the former because it is about a Canadian girl attending a specific private school (the one I have visited for events because my friend was enrolled there) and the latter because it revolves around confusing emotional states and the desperate need to experiment to find one's identity. SKIM is about Kim Cameron, an overweight Wiccan who feels awfully alone in the world when her only friend is self-interested and fairly hateful. When a student commits suicide, the stability in Skim’s life begins to spin, spin, spin. Where the pieces will fall is a bit of a mystery. SKIM will probably speak to a certain kind of teenage girl, but it didn’t strike a chord with me.

stewaroby Mar 25, 2016

Mariko Tamaki was a great speaker at the 2016 New Zealand Festival, where she described this book as her"private school lesbian love diary".

bibliotechnocrat Jan 22, 2016

Goth teen Kimberly Keiko Cameron (aka Skim), is an outsider, a wannabe Wiccan, and in love with her female English teacher. When a classmate commits suicide, Skim descends into a depression that no guidance counselor platitude can reach. A lovely coming-of-age story with artwork derived from the best Japanese traditions. Lovely.

multcolib_lauralw Jul 30, 2015

terrific story! I love the Tamaki stories and beautiful art.

mvkramer Apr 16, 2015

A slice-of-life story of love, friendship, and depression in the life of one teenage girl. Great story, great art.

KateHillier May 27, 2014

There's a lot here that people will find familiar. This graphic novel takes the form of a diary as Kim (also called Skim) talks about her life at a girl's high school in the 1990s. When a classmate commits suicide everyone is forced into counseling and then everyone decides Kim is going to be next because of her interest in Wicca. A group of girls rally around the dead boy's ex-girlfriend, who looks less than impressed for the attention, while Kim and her friend Lisa drift in and out of each others' company and Kim falls in love with her English teacher, Ms. Archer.

It's an honest piece of work. Kim isn't above the other girls, she just doesn't see herself as one of them, and she is as quick to make judgement of others as they are to make them of her. Overall a very enjoyable, and slightly nostalgic, read.

forbesrachel Apr 10, 2014

All the trauma of teenage life comes to the fore in this critically acclaimed graphic novel. Kim, aka Skim, is a teenage girl destined to be marked as "weird", at least according to her own mind. She is fairly quiet around all, except her one friend, and a kind female teacher whom she falls for. Due to this, and her belief in wicca, many make assumptions about her with their constant talk of how she is quite likely to commit suicide. On the other hand, her thoughts make it clear that she is far from this, thus pointing to the unreliability of stereotyping. She too, is not above being prejudiced, as she often makes comments to herself about those of the popular clique. The suicide of a fellow student, and its subsequent events reveal a completely different side to one of these girls though, and Kim soon finds a true friend in her. For this emotional-filled ride, the artist uses a delicately-inked black and white style with a classical Asian flare. The comic itself acts like Skim's physical diary, as she scratches out words, and changes her thoughts. She reports on her day to day life, family problems, and personal issues in this diary. Through all the alienation, she tries to come to terms with her life, love, and those around her. Despite being fiction, Skim's down to earth realism, and use of Kim as the narrator, gives it the feel of an autobiography.

l
Legomyeggo33
Nov 23, 2013

It was okay. The plot was not very unique and the ending sucked.

bandblair Aug 28, 2013

The best GN I've read this year.

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DavidB
Dec 20, 2008

DavidB thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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britprincess1ajax
Jul 30, 2016

“It’s amazing how, when you don't feel something everyone else feels, it just looks like nothing. Like watching people dance to a song you don't like.”

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